Monique Cotton

City Parks & Recreation Opens New Downtown Spokane River Access Point

Monique Cotton, Marketing/Communications, No Phone Number Available

Wednesday, August 26, 2015 at 4:16 p.m.

City Parks & Recreation Opens New Downtown Spokane River Access Point

The new access is free and open to the public; Parks and Recreation will host paddleboard tours out of the new access on September 5.

Downtown Spokane has a new and unique location to enter the Spokane River in the heart of the Lilac City. The new access is located on the south side of the Spokane River, under the Division Street Bridge and near the Spokane Convention Center and was made possible through the generosity and partnership of the City of Spokane Parks and Recreation Division, the Spokane Public Facilities District, Avista Utilities, and the Spokane River Forum.  

The new access provides the community unique entry into the vibrant Spokane River in the downtown core and supports the City and the community's vision for a clean and accessible river.

“It's exciting to give people another way to access and celebrate the Spokane River. The City is committed to embracing and protecting our greatest natural resource. You will see this in plans for the new Riverfront Park, through river cleanup efforts and through other river celebration events in the Month of September,” said Mayor David Condon.

“For the public and tourists alike, the river is literally outside our downtown doorstep. Additional access promotes Spokane's passion for outdoor recreational. Many thanks to all who helped make this vision a reality,” said Andy Dunau President of the Spokane River Forum.

A grand opening ceremony celebrating the new access point was held today, August 19th. Opening ceremony festivities included kids from the Northeast Youth Center, along with Outdoor Recreation Supervisors, kayaking on the Spokane River and exiting the River at the new Downtown Access Point. Members of the community also joined the celebration, launching paddleboards, kayaks or canoes as part of the grand opening celebration.

To encourage recreation and greater access to the river, the City of Spokane Parks and Recreation Division will offer paddleboard tours starting at the new access point on Saturday, September 5th, between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. The cost is $15 per person. All funds from rentals go toward sustaining this and other community recreation programs. Register online and enter the following codes: 32486; 32487; 32488; 32488.

Downtown River Access Point Background:

The Downtown Spokane River Access project was first visualized in the 2011 Spokane Convention Center Completion Project Concept Design Report. The Spokane City Council then changed the City ordinance to allow non-motorized boating up to the west dripline (the west side) of the Division Street Bridge. In the fall of 2013, the Spokane Park Board passed an agreement with the Public Facilities District to provide funding from the Parks Division to support the permitting, design and development of the river access.

New Ways to Celebrate the River:

September is a month full of ways to support the river. The City and a variety of partners – Avista, the Spokane River Forum, The Lands Council, the Spokane Riverkeeper, and Friends of the Falls – will host:

  • A “barge” cleanup of larger pieces of garbage between Division and Greene streets the week of September 14.
  • An H2O Breakfast on Friday, Sept. 18, at 7:30 a.m., at the Spokane Convention Center with keynote speaker Chad Pregracke, who is known for his cleanup work on the Mississippi River and was CNN's Hero of the Year in 2013. Register at
  • The return of the annual Spokane River Cleanup on Saturday, Sept. 19, at 9 a.m. Sign up to volunteer at

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